RockFarmer Properties has placed a similar emphasis on integrating landscaping into the heart of its new building, the Rowan, a 46-unit condo at 21-21 31st Street in Astoria, Queens, designed by architectural firm DXA Studio, with horticultural designer Patrick Cullina. There, returning residents will walk through a street-side garden to a green-roofed glass-walled lobby with a private courtyard garden. About half of the apartments have private outdoor space, and about half of those outdoor spaces are large, said John Petras, founder of RockFarmer Properties – “from 500 to in some cases 1,500 square feet” .
When the pandemic hit shortly after sales started last year, developers became concerned. âBut after about a month, I was just shocked,â Mr. Petras said. âWe were selling units every week. He attributed the activity to the project’s focus on outdoor space and nature, as well as its location and the company’s early adoption of virtual screenings.
More than 80 percent of the building’s units are now under contract (currently available units are priced at $ 789,000 to $ 2.549 million), as are its five rooftop cabins, priced at $ 65,000 each.
âLast July, in the midst of all of this, we actually increased the prices of about 15 of our units,â Petras said, while other developers offered discounts.
He’s now in the early stages of planning for the second phase of the Rowan, which will feature a larger building with more units, and he’s considering some strategic changes.
“We will be looking to incorporate an outdoor space, if not in every unit, in almost every unit,” he said. âWe’re going to try to fit in a lot of what we call a ‘special’ outdoor space, where it’s 500 to 800 square feet. We will seek to upgrade these to a high standard, instead of leaving it to the buyer. “
It will all cost more, he said, but it is certain that the investment will pay off: âAny type of outdoor space, even if it is a small terrace, is more important today. hui than it was 18 months ago.